Madagascar Screwpine, Pandanus

Pandanus utilis

Family: Pandanaceae
Genus: Pandanus (PAN-dan-us) (Info)
Species: utilis (YOO-tih-liss) (Info)


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

White/Near White


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms all year

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From woody stem cuttings

By stooling or mound layering

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Escondido, California

Fallbrook, California

Goleta, California

Hayward, California

Reseda, California

San Marcos, California

Santa Barbara, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Apopka, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Pierce, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Indialantic, Florida

Jensen Beach, Florida

Jupiter, Florida

Naples, Florida (2 reports)

Orlando, Florida (2 reports)

Palm City, Florida

Parrish, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Riverview, Florida (2 reports)

Rockledge, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida (2 reports)

Sarasota, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Venice, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Mountain View, Hawaii

Bayamon, Puerto Rico

Vieques, Puerto Rico

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 12, 2017, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Giving it a try as a long term potted plant in the S.F bay area. So far,its only been a month or so,but appears to be re rooting after I received it bare root.
All the details about lighting and cold tolerance are for the future reports.


On Jun 8, 2017, tomograph from Fort Lauderdale, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Extremely messy tree in South Florida. Heavy shedding of leaves in spring and early summer. Constant shedding year round. Roots will destroy driveway if planted too close. High maintenance.


On Nov 24, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A beautiful landscape plant that requires a lot of space---it's fast growing and spreads by sending down stilt roots. Also messy, as it constantly drops its sharp-edged leaves. Relatively high-maintenance.

The leaves are traditionally used to flavor sweet dishes, coloring them green at the same time. Used in cakes, etc.


On Nov 24, 2016, SyrJet from Santa Barbara, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is a very exotic plant which should REALLY be planted more in Southern California. It is very tropical and unique looking.


On Aug 29, 2015, JRT256 from Green Valley, AZ wrote:

This is a dioecious plant. It takes both separate male and female plants to produce viable seeds.


On Jul 29, 2012, Pandanus_Man from Escondido, CA wrote:

A great plant for the tropical and subtropical garden. This plant is not too fussy; except that it doesn't like full sun where temps rise above 95 with low humidity. Temps below 28f will cause some damage as well.


On Jan 27, 2010, vnickdd from Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Bought a home in downtown orlando with a plant about 15' tall, but a single stock. It had never been trimmed, so I went to battle with the dead leaves underneath. Ouch.

This year was a really long and nasty freeze. I lost some plumeria shoots and my screw palm doesn't look very happy either. I think it will survive. Anyone have any tips on trimming these way down and letting them grow new healthy leaves? Also, anyone ever seen the leaves emerge folded 1/2 way down the length? Looks like waves in the leaf. Wondering if it is getting under fertilized or what.


On May 14, 2009, Ginger_Lily_75 from Indialantic, FL wrote:

Just planted a baby! I have begun trying to sprout the 'seeds' collected from a tree down the street.


On Mar 13, 2007, ninaj99 from krabi,
Thailand wrote:

Found on the bank of the mangrove in krabi thailand. Only some very old "branches" no sign of tree or leaves. A real survivor.


On Apr 1, 2006, chanticleer from Toronto, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

It should be noted that in 2004, this species was found to host lethal yellowing disease, a contagious ailment previously thought only to affect palms. For this reason, screw pines (especially those recently purchased) should be monitored closely and destroyed if necessary.


On Oct 25, 2004, jungleboy_fl from Naples, FL wrote:

Pandanus utilis is very striking and a nice focal point in the landscape. This plant is native to the south pacific, and is frequently found growing along the shores of most islands in that region. In Hawaii, it is known as, "Lauhala", and the leaves of which are stripped of their thorny margins, rolled, and dried. Afterward, native artisans weave these leaves into many useful items. Supposedly, the fruits of the pandanus are edible, although they must be cooked. I certainly don't recommend it.
I've been nurturing a huge specimen- 22' x 26' for several years now at my landscape here in Naples, FL. It is approx. 20 years old. Although I inherited this plant, I definitely would have planted one, were it not already here. There are a few things the homeowner or landscaper sho... read more


On Sep 23, 2003, amorning1 from Islamorada, FL wrote:

Vareigated version is awesome


On Sep 22, 2003, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

For those who can afford it, this is one of the premium specimen trees for landscaping in southwest Florida. A good-sized tree, which can run between $5,000-$10,000 (U.S.) will literally stop traffic. There are few other specimen trees - Bismarckia Palm, Madagascar Palm, and Poinciana among them - that will have that effect. Absolutely stunning.


On Jun 1, 2001, BotanyBob from Thousand Oaks, CA wrote:

This tropical shrub/tree looks a lot like a palm at first, but is actually related to conifers (coning plants). In its native tropical climates this is a fast growing, rapidly spreading tree with large stilt roots. Here in the coastal US it is a slower tree with a finely ringed trunk, short stilt roots, and grows in a spiral manner (hence the name screw pine). As a seedling it is highly ornamental with a spiral of yellow-green leaves, lined with orange red, and also lined with a fine row of razor teeth along the edges and center raphis. It eventually produces large orangish seed pods that are reminiscent of pineapples (also called the pineapple tree), but they are not edible.

This tree is frost senstive and gets leaf burn at temperatures below 28. It also doesn't tole... read more